Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly passed a new act on December 13, 2018, which will amend the current Labor Protection Act (LPA). The new law will become effective 30 days after its publication in the Government Gazette, which is expected to be in early 2019.

The key amendments to the LPA are as follows:

  • The amount of statutory severance pay for an employee who has worked for at least 20 years has been increased to 400 days at the employee’s last wage rate (from 300).
  • Employers must grant pregnant employees 98 days’ maternity leave, which includes leave taken for pre-natal exams before the delivery date, and holidays that fall during the maternity leave period. The employer must pay up to 45 days’ wages during maternity leave.
  • Employers must grant employees three days of “necessary business leave” with wages paid.
  • If an employer relocates its current workplace to a new establishment, or to another of its existing work locations, the employer must post a conspicuous announcement at the current work place for a continuous period of at least 30 days in advance of the relocation. The announcement must include the details of the new workplace and the timing of the relocation.
  • Where a change in employer results in any employees being transferred, those employees must consent to that transfer before it can take effect.
  • Employers are required to pay 15 percent interest on money that they owe to employees for:
  • payment of wages in lieu of advance notice;
  • wages, overtime payments, payment for working on holidays, and payments for working overtime on holidays;
  • wages during temporary cessation of the employer’s operations; or
  • severance pay and special severance pay.
  • Where an employer terminates an indefinite term employment contract without notifying the employee at least one payment cycle in advance, the employer must pay wages in lieu of advance notice to the employee on the termination date.
  • Employers must pay wages, overtime payments, payments for working on holidays, and payments for working overtime on holidays, at the same rate for both male and female employees who undertake work of the same type, quality, and quantity.
  • Several penalties for employers that fail to comply with the provisions in the LPA have also been amended.